Health & Science

Satellite radio giant SiriusXM is buying the Oakland, Calif.-based digital radio company Pandora in an all-stock deal valued at $3.5 billion, the companies announced Monday. The deal is expected to close in early 2019.

The merger would create "the world's largest audio entertainment company," SiriusXM CEO James Meyer said in a conference call. The deal would still need to be reviewed by antitrust regulators and shareholders, he added.

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Free-Photos/Pixabay

With few exceptions, the legal drinking age in Wisconsin and the rest of the United States is 21.

Social scientists already know there's a sizable increase in alcohol-related deaths and violent crime when people reach that age.

But UW-Madison researcher Jason Fletcher wanted to focus on other problems that crop up when people start drinking legally. So, he looked at data from Add Health, a long-term national study covering adolescent to adult health.

About a hundred years ago, something devious started happening in our homes and offices, in our cars and at restaurants — and our backs have never been the same.

For hundreds — even thousands — of years, chairs were made of wood. Maybe the seat was covered with cord or cattail leaves, and if you were rich, you could afford some padded upholstery, which began to take off in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Jill Biden Talks Biden Cancer Initiative

Sep 23, 2018

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Within three days of starting high school this year, my ninth-grader could not get into bed before 11 p.m. or wake up by 6 a.m. He complained he couldn't fall asleep but felt foggy during the school day and had to reread lessons a few times at night to finish his homework. And forget morning activities on the weekends — he was in bed.

New Book: Vaccines Have Always Had Haters

Sep 23, 2018

Vaccinations have saved millions, maybe billions, of lives, says Michael Kinch, associate vice chancellor and director of the Center for Research Innovation in Business at Washington University in St. Louis. Those routine shots every child is expected to get can fill parents with hope that they're protecting their children from serious diseases.

But vaccines also inspire fear that something could go terribly wrong. That's why Kinch's new book is aptly named: Between Hope and Fear: A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity.

California election officials are launching a new effort to fight the kind of disinformation campaigns that plagued the 2016 elections — an effort that comes with thorny legal and political questions.

The state's new Office of Elections Cybersecurity will focus on combating social media campaigns that try to confuse voters or discourage them from casting ballots.

During the 2016 election, in addition to hacking email accounts and attacking voting systems, Russian agents used social media to plant disinformation intended to drive down voter turnout.

When Katharine Briggs — a mother and homemaker — began what she called a "cosmic laboratory of baby training" in her Michigan living room in the early 1900s, she didn't know she was laying the groundwork for what would one day become a multi-million dollar industry. Briggs was just 14 years old when she went to college, and ended up graduating first in her class, explains author Merve Emre. She married the man who graduated just behind her at No. 2 — and while he became a scientist, she was expected to take care of the home.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

During hurricanes like Florence, many people find themselves trapped and needing rescue. Sometimes volunteers step in to help — but emergency managers say some may be creating problems of their own.

Editor's Note: This story contains descriptions of alleged sexual assault.

Guiding her cart down an aisle of a Virginia grocery store, Leigh Michel attracts more attention than the average shopper.

"Do you know where the dog food is?" one man asks her. This kind of attention makes her uneasy.

"No, I don't," Michel answers. "Sorry."

The man assumes Michel would know the answer because her service dog, an English black Labrador named Lizzy, is walking at her side.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Throughout the western U.S., water conservation is in the toilet.

And that's a good thing.

Workplace wellness programs that offer employees a financial carrot for undergoing health screenings, sticking to exercise regimens or improving their cholesterol levels have long been controversial.

Walter Mischel, a revolutionary psychologist with a specialty in personality theory, died of pancreatic cancer on Sept. 12. He was 88.

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